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‘Replay value is more than multiple playthroughs’ – Hocking

Thursday, 2nd August 2012 12:06 GMT By Dave Cook

Ex-Lucasarts creative director Clint Hocking has posted a blog on the subject of replay value, stressing that gamers need more than just a ‘New Game+’ mode to make them feel like they’ve received good value for money. Hocking also feels Red Dead Redemption didn’t have repay value.

Writing on Edge-Online, Hocking blogs that developers oversimplify the meaning of replay value to multiple playthroughs, which in his mind is entirely unacceptable.

“I think we need to dismiss the idea that replayability is a measure of how far players progress,” Hocking explained, “or how many times they replay a game all the way through. Red Dead Redemption was highly replayable, but I’d be shocked to learn that more than 40 per cent of players got to the end, or that over 10 per cent got all the achievements.”

“When faced with such numbers, it’s hard to refute the idea that the game isn’t replayable enough.”

Hocking explains that true replay value comes from exhaustibilityy and depth, “In a theoretical sense, I think the best predictor of replayability is the depth-to-exhaustibility ratio. By ‘depth’, I mean specifically the degree of rich interconnection between well-balanced systems. And by ‘exhaustibility’, I mean the degree to which a game relies on static content to deliver a message.”

What do you think makes for true replay value? Let us know below.

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8 Comments

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  1. silkvg247

    Since most of us have more games than we physically have time to play, do we really need or care about replayability?

    I care more about a good enjoyable one off experience.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. pleasant_cabbage

    Tend to agree with you there.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. absolutezero

    I could’nt agree more but then we are’nt the ones that are being targeted. If you only buy one game every couple of months it stands to reason that you’d want something that lasted along time, even if you had no real interest in seeing it all the way through the end or investing alot into multiplayer. The content needs to be created in order to tick a box on the mental check-list of the “expanded audience”.

    Then they complain about sky-rocketing budgets and huge teams of death.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DrDamn

    For me replayability is about the core nuts and bolts of the gameplay being different the second or third time through. Not a random decision you make switching the ending, but the way you play and experience the game itself to be substantially different. That can be because of a different class you play or by conscious decisions you make yourself as a player. For example Demons/Dark Souls play very different depending on the type of character you choice. Even down to the type of weapon or armour – that changes how you have to approach the vast majority of enemies.

    What I don’t like is substantial parts of games being locked away unless you make a decision a particular way. Thus forcing the player to replay the game to see that content when the majority of the game experience is unchanged. That’s cheap.

    If you manage replayability in the first way then that also has huge benefits for players who just play the game through once. It helps give the game more variety and a personal feel to the experience.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Fin

    Isn’t that Ex-Lucasarts etc?

    #5 2 years ago
  6. majicship

    I have never played any game through twice. However, I have just comleted Max Payne 3 and am thinking of playing it again because I really didn’t get on with bullet time/shoot dodge etc. and ended up playing it through straight as just another a cover based shooter. It worked but I reckon I missed half the fun, but that’s consoles for you. The controls for this on the 360 are quite dreadful. Depress right stick while pushing forward with left stick while also depressing right bumper button, then when in mid air try to aim with left stick and shoot with right trigger. Yeah, who thought that neat little combo up?

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Da Man

    RdR had barely any play value at that.

    Esp the multiplayer was pretty much the biggest disappointment of 2010.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. silkvg247

    The only games I replay are those with random aspects of some sort. In the older days it was rampage and gauntlet.. now it’s isaac, dredmoor etc.

    Heh I even used to replay (a lot!) Fatal Labyrinth on the megadrive. It got terribad reviews but I loved it for whatever reason.

    #8 2 years ago